January 26, 2009
Spirit Pilots Reject Concessionary Contract
Pilots asked to pay the cost of management’s ambitious expansion plans
Miramar, Fla.—Spirit Airline pilots this week rejected a new contract proposal from management that would force deep concessions in pay, benefits, and work rules. The proposal comes within weeks of the airline’s announcing plans to expand service in the Caribbean and United States. It also negates more than 30 months of contract talks (including reneging on 30 different tentative agreements reached over this period) and would further solidify the pilots’ contract as the worst in the industry.
“The company has repeatedly asked the pilot group to fund their blunders and now they want us to finance their expansions,” said Captain Sean Creed, Spirit Airlines MEC chairman. “We want this company to succeed and grow, but not at the cost of our families and our careers.”
On January 20, Spirit Airlines management put forward a new contract proposal that calls for $5.8 million in concessions, with additional concessions imposed if dramatic cuts to benefits are taken into account. Meanwhile, the company plans to spend millions to start service between Boston and Atlantic City, Chicago and Myrtle Beach, and throughout the Caribbean.
In addition, the new proposal states that pilots who are injured while on duty would be ineligible for worker’s compensation unless they can show that they are incapable of performing any job at the company—from secretary to janitor. Captain upgrades would also be based on management’s subjective assessment of the pilot’s personality. Both of these proposals are unheard of in the industry.
“To have this kind of document presented after two and half years of contract negotiations, and while you are increasing your routes and services, illustrates the utter contempt this company has for these pilots, their contributions, and the collective bargaining process as a whole,” said Art Luby, ALPA assistant director of Representation.
Founded in 1931, ALPA is the world’s largest pilot union and represents 52,500 pilots at 36 airlines in the U.S. and Canada, including more than 500 pilots at Spirit Airlines. Visit the ALPA website at http://www.alpa.org.
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Captain Sean Creed—(765) 338-6824
Arthur Luby—(571) 236-3523
Jen Lofquist—(703) 481-4459